FICTION

Little Smokey

Knopf. Sept. 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781984851048.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 1–When a forest fire strikes, it’s comforting to know there’s a great team of brave planes at the Nif-C (National Interagency Fire Center) to put it out. Each plane has an important job and has earned a specific name. Bruno, the water scooper, dives down and scoops up water to pour on the flames. The Air Tanker is Buster; he flies fast and sprays water to douse the fire. Bertha, the biggest plane, is a V.L.A.T. (Very Large Air Tanker). She carries tons of red fire retardant to fight the big fires. There’s one plane that wants to help the others but she’s just too small. She practices and practices but the people in the tower still dismiss her. The little plane knows she can help the others so she waits for the perfect chance to show what she can do. This is an excellent story about bravery, patience, determination, and teamwork. The illustrations are beautifully drawn with bold colors and interesting perspectives. The planes have great facial expressions that make them come alive, while conveying information about how the planes are used to help put out the fires. Back matter provides more detail for children who want to know about wildfires and the crews who do so much to help.
VERDICT This book will become a favorite for those who enjoy planes, firefighters, and more.

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